Westcon opens UK demo centre

Picture of an empty boardroom
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Westcon Convergence has opened a new LEAP demo centre at its European head office in Crawley to address the cumbersome process of organising piecemeal multi-site technology demonstrations in a multi-vendor world.

Sitting as part of a dedicated partner zone at the company’s new Westcon headquarters which opened last year, the new demo centre allows partners to see an array of multi-vendor products working together and aims provides UK and European partners with hands-on training and experience.

“Typically in the UC world, partners and their customers would have to visit independent vendors in different locations over a couple of weeks to see their solutions,” says Ioan MacRae, general manager UK & Ireland, Westcon Convergence. “The other option for partners is to build their own demo centre, which carries huge cost and investment. We are eliminating the need to do both. Partners can come to one place and see multiple products from our 20 vendors interacting together free of charge.”

The LEAP centre, a branded Westcon theme which stands for Learn, Experience Architect and Plan, is an immersion centre where demos are hands-on and every participant must interact with the solution in order for the demo to work.

MacRae estimates that around 35 percent of the floor space at the new headquarters is dedicated to the company’s partner area, which includes hot desks, meet and greet areas, meeting rooms and the Weston Academy for technical training courses alongside the LEAP demo centre.

“Within the budget allocated to the office move, which was a six-figure sum, we dedicated a couple of hundred thousand to the overall partner area, including the UC demo room,” says MacRae. “Part of it was covered in the office move budget but we are continuously investing to update and manage it.”

Westcon spent the last four months building the centre, making it available to partners as a soft opening in the last two weeks before the official launch. Interested resellers can book online or through an account manager. The centre will also be used for partner training courses.

MacRae expects interest in the latest releases of Avaya, Lync as well as the video capabilities of Avaya and Polycom and the LRS Lync Room System. “I also think we will start to see this year a greater interest in cloud offerings – 'what is it, what does it mean, how does a partner play a role in the cloud solution?'”